R.A. Dickey strikes out 13 in Pirates' 80th loss

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Travis Snider made a spectacular catch and Rod Barajas homered and doubled, but R.A. Dickey struck out 13 batters for the Mets in a 6-5 Pirates loss.

First, my apologies for missing the gamethread today. That must have been very confusing in conjunction with the recent layout changes to the site. I have a busy teaching day on Thursday and I just didn't realize the game was in the afternoon.

Anyway, R.A. Dickey struck out 13 batters and won his 20th game of the year (and no, wins don't mean anything, but 20 wins is a pretty amazing feat on a team that has only won 72). The Pirates, meanwhile, fell 6-5 for their 80th loss of the year, although they did get one spectacular highlight out of it:

That's just an amazing catch, one of the best of the year. You can see Kevin Correia muttering to himself while watching the ball fly away, and then, suddenly, Travis Snider reaches about four feet above the wall. Even the Mets fans were in awe.

The rest of the game didn't go so spectacularly. The Pirates scored two in the second on a long RBI double by Rod Barajas and an RBI infield single by Jordy Mercer, then took a 3-1 lead in the fourth when Barajas hit a no-doubt solo homer. (Yes, that's right. It was all about Rod Barajas today.) But the Mets scored one in the bottom of the inning on an opposite-field RBI single by Scott Hairston, and then they scored four in the fifth, thanks to a three-run bomb by David Wright. The Pirates made it close with a two-run homer by Alex Presley in the ninth, but still lost 6-5.

The Pirates' chances of finishing 2012 with a winning record faded further with their 80th loss -- now they'll have to win all of their last six games to do it. Obviously, that's a dubious proposition, especially if Andrew McCutchen can't play. McCutchen left in the seventh after diving for a fly ball and coming up holding his knee. He didn't appear to be in serious pain, and after these six games, he'll have the whole offseason to get straightened out, so I don't think it's much of a long-term concern. But I doubt the Pirates will push him to come back to play six meaningless games if he's not feeling 100 percent.

UPDATE: McCutchen says he's "good to go," but I think the previous paragraph probably still applies -- with little left to play for, the Pirates don't have any incentive to push him.

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